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Learning and development

How To Train Remote Employees Effectively

Remote training programs have to adapt if they want to deliver rich learning experiences. Here are 7 tips for training employees in a remote workforce.

Swapna Ravichandran

February 9, 2022

The recent pandemic has forced private and public companies into a remote or hybrid work module. That was new territory for many companies, so naturally, some people found it hard to adapt to this "new normal.”

While there have been some perks to working from home, this unexpected shift has come with its share of hardships as well. One of the most significant problem areas for companies, especially while hiring virtual assistant services, has been managing efficient employee training in a remote setup. This new setup required both new employees and Human Resource members to operate remotely and execute training programs without physically interacting with each other.


The Increasing Need For Remote Employee Training

By 2025, the number of remote workers is expected to hit 36.2 million, double the number it was before the pandemic. While some companies are switching to hybrid work, many companies like Google, Slack, and Spotify offer their employees the opportunity to work remotely indefinitely.

This rise in remote working requires companies to quickly adapt to this new work style. Therefore, a proper training mode must be set to prepare employees for a life in a remote work environment.


What Are The Challenges of Remote Training?

To find the most suitable solution, it's essential to first identify the problems in remote employee training. Some of the critical issues faced by companies while training remotely are -

No Physical Interaction

One of the most considerable hardships of remote working, in general, has been the lack of face-to-face interaction. 

In remote training mainly, where new employees heavily rely on supervision to monitor their work, remote training poses a severe challenge. From the trainer's perspective, it's challenging to track their progress in a remote setup without being physically present to overlook employees’ performance.

Limited Information

As mentioned earlier, remote work is new territory for most companies. Therefore, there is a general lack of awareness regarding remote training for employees and managers alike. 

In remote training, people are unaware of how to reach out to managers and trainers to get even their most minor queries answered because of the lack of information. In addition, not having a fixed system can often lead to things getting chaotic.

Feeling of Isolation at Work

While there are some perks of a remote working system, isolation and loneliness remain the most prominent complaints employees have while working from home.

People miss the social interaction, banter, and connections they usually make in an office space. Additionally, with an influx of new employees, it could often feel like they are working with a group of strangers, making the situation even more strenuous.

Too Many Distractions

The office is where people could come and be solely focused on work.

However, in a remote working environment where people work from home, many different factors and distractions come into play. Working parents, especially, find it hard to balance work and child care and are often unable to separate the two.

Technical Difficulties

Unlike physical training, remote employee training poses a lot of technical challenges. For example, unexpected internet connections, software issues, and malfunctioning training tools.

While there is no way to prevent any of these issues from happening, it's possible to take all measures to be as prepared as possible to tackle difficulties when they occur.


Remote Training Tips 

Though remote training raises a challenge, it's pretty easy to navigate through if you have the right resources. That is why we've put together some tips and tricks to help you train your remote recruits more effectively.

Pair them with mentors

What does mentorship have to do with training employees? A lot. The 70-20-10 learning framework states that only 10% of our learning comes from individual study or courses. The rest comes from direct experience and collaborating with others. Mentors are critical to learning and development because they make what we learn more relevant and tangible. if you’re working through training to be a better sales rep having a mentor to shadow or listen in on a call is invaluable. They’ll coach you through what you can improve on. Likewise, they’ll also be a role model for you. You’re not just trying to learn a new skill, you’re trying to be like them. And that is incredibly powerful for learning. 

Experiment With Different Training Formats

Every company is different. Therefore, the same training method might not work for everyone. The best way to go about this is to experiment with different formats and see which one works best for your business. 

For example, you can also test live Q&A-based sessions and see which ones with which employees are more comfortable. Additionally, try to experiment with different training styles, such as

  • Presentations
  • Video sessions
  • Audio sessions
  • Webinars

Please pay close attention to which format and style employees respond to and plan their training to cater to their needs specifically. The key is to keep them engaged, which should be the focus of your training style.

Make Training Accessible

As we mentioned before, many people working from home are parents and have to balance more than one job simultaneously. To be more accommodative, try to make sure that your training sessions are mobile-friendly, so employees don't have to be glued to a computer screen to attend them. 

Additionally, if the training is offline-based (video/audio presentations), they can complete training in their own time, even outside of work. It's essential to make the training as easy and accessible as possible to ensure fresh recruits grasp every detail.

Encourage Microlearning

While in-depth training is necessary, wherever possible, try to divide the sessions into small bites of information so that the employees don't feel overwhelmed with the sudden load of new information.

These small portions of the training are highly effective for work-from-home employees who balance different household tasks.

Screentime Is Not The Goal

One of the biggest mistakes many companies make regarding remote working is confusing more screen time for productivity. Employers worry that if people aren't glued to their screens, they aren't working.

While this approach might have made sense in a physical office, the same cannot be applied to a remote working setup. Instead, try to encourage a more goal-oriented approach. As long as employees meet all of their goals and deadlines, the amount of time they spend on their screens is irrelevant.

Documentation Of Training

In a remote work system where you are dealing with new employees or virtual executive assistants you haven't physically interacted with before, it can be challenging to keep track of who has undergone training and who hasn't.

Documenting helps employers keep a detailed record of employees' training and help streamline the process and make it more consistent for future employees.

Adapt To Remote Work Culture

Employers need to remember that remote working is very different from traditional office culture. People don't have the opportunity to have any face-to-face contact, which can often lead to loneliness and isolation.

Therefore, training should include and encourage a culture of interaction even in a remote environment. While it may not be possible to meet and socialize with fellow workers physically, you can organize virtual events, meetings, and other social activities to ensure a good relationship between your employees. That will make them less hesitant to reach out to each other when they need

help.


Author bio: Swapna is a content writer for Wishup based out of Chennai, India, with a background in Media and Mass Communication.

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